Containers

A container includes a substantially cylindrical body portion comprising panels arranged about substantially the entire body portion and defining a body portion interior. Each panel includes substantially parallel side edges and an upper and lower edge. Each side edge of each panel is joined to a side edge of an adjacent panel. The upper edges of the panels form an upper edge of the body portion and the lower edges of the panels form a lower edge of the body portion. The upper edge and the lower edge of each panel are displaced circumferentially from one another. A closure member can be joined to the lower edge of the body portion. A recessed portion of the body portion can be concave and a most inward point of the recessed portion can be located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to containers and, in particular, to cylindrical containers that can be used as barrels.

2. Discussion of the Prior Art

Numerous types of containers, including containers that can be used for holding a variety of materials and that have either general or special applications, are disclosed in the prior art. Nevertheless, the development of new container designs remains an active enterprise and the origination of new and improved designs is of interest.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following sets forth a simplified summary of selected aspects, embodiments and examples of the present invention for the purpose of providing a basic understanding of the invention. However, the summary does not constitute an extensive overview of all the aspects, embodiments and examples of the invention. Neither is the summary intended to identify critical aspects or delineate the scope of the invention. The sole purpose of the summary is to present selected aspects, embodiments and examples of the invention in a concise form as an introduction to the more detailed description of the aspects, embodiments and examples of the invention that follow the summary.

According to a first aspect a container includes a substantially cylindrical body portion comprising a plurality of panels arranged seriatim about substantially the entirety of the substantially cylindrical body portion and defining an interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion. Each panel includes two panel side edges, a panel upper edge and a panel lower edge. Each panel side edge of each panel is joined to a corresponding panel side edge of the panel that is located immediately adjacent to that panel. Thereby, the panel upper edges collectively form a body portion upper edge of the substantially cylindrical body portion and the panel lower edges collectively form a body portion lower edge of the substantially cylindrical body portion. The panel upper edge and the panel lower edge of each panel of the plurality of panels are displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical body portion. A first continuous closure member can be joined to the body portion lower edge and closes off the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion at the body portion lower edge.

According to a first embodiment of the first aspect, a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion and, in a first example of that first embodiment, a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

According to a second embodiment of the first aspect, an exposed surface of at least one portion of at least one panel is substantially planar and, according to a first example of that second embodiment, a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion. In a particular mode of that first example, a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

According to a second example of the second embodiment of the first aspect, the exposed surface of the at least one portion of the at least one panel is located adjacent to at least one of the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge. In a first mode of that second example, a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion, and, in a first type of that first mode, a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

According to a third embodiment of the first aspect, an exposed surface of at least one portion of each panel of the plurality of panels is substantially planar. In a first example of that third embodiment, a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion. And in a first mode of that example, the most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

According to a second example of the third embodiment of the first aspect, the exposed surface of the at least one portion of each panel of the plurality of panels is located adjacent at least one of the body portion upper edge of the panel and the body portion lower edge. In a first mode of that second example, a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion. And in a first type of that first mode, the most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

According to a second mode of the second example of the third embodiment of the first aspect, the exposed surface of the at least one portion of each of the plurality of panels is located both adjacent the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge. In a first type of that second mode, a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container. And according to a first kind of that first type, the most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

According to a second aspect, in a method of making the container of the first example of the first embodiment of the first aspect, the plurality of panels are joined to one another to form a substantially cylindrical forerunner of the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container. The substantially cylindrical forerunner includes a central axis, with the panel upper edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner upper edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner and the panel lower edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner lower edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner. The plurality of panels of the substantially cylindrical forerunner are arranged so that the panel upper edge and the panel lower edge of each panel are not displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner but are in line with one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner. The forerunner upper edge is rotated about the central axis of the substantially cylindrical forerunner while maintaining the forerunner lower edge substantially stationary, whereby the panel upper edge of each panel of the plurality of panels is displaced circumferentially from the respective panel lower edge of the panels about the substantially cylindrical forerunner to form the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container. The first continuous closure member can be joined to the body portion lower edge of the substantially cylindrical body portion to close off the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion at the body portion lower edge.

According to a third aspect, in a method of making the container of the first mode of the first example of the third embodiment of the first aspect, the plurality of panels are joined to one another to form a substantially cylindrical forerunner of the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container. The substantially cylindrical forerunner includes a central axis, with the panel upper edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner upper edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner and the panel lower edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner lower edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner. The plurality of panels of the substantially cylindrical forerunner are arranged so that the panel upper edge and the panel lower edge of each panel are not displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner but are in line with one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner. The forerunner upper edge is rotated about the central axis of the substantially cylindrical forerunner while maintaining the forerunner lower edge substantially stationary, whereby the panel upper edge of each panel of the plurality of panels is displaced circumferentially from the respective panel lower edge of the panels about the substantially cylindrical forerunner to form the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container and the recessed portion of the container. The first continuous closure member can be joined to the body portion lower edge of the substantially cylindrical body portion to close off the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion at the body portion lower edge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other aspects, embodiments, examples, modes, types and kinds of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention relates based on the detailed descriptions that follow with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein the same reference numerals are used in the several figures to refer to the same parts, elements and components and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first aspect of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of a second aspect of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of an aspect of the invention in an intermediate stage of manufacture; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a component of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Aspects, embodiments, and examples of the present invention are described below with references, in certain respects, to the accompanying drawings. These aspects, embodiments and examples are not intended to be limitations on the present invention. Thus, for example, in some instances, one or more examples of the present invention described with reference to one aspect or embodiment can be utilized in other aspects and embodiments. In addition, certain terminology is used herein for convenience only and is not to be taken as limiting the present invention.

In a first aspect of the container of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1, wherein the container, indicated generally at 10, and comprising, for example, an industrial barrel, includes a substantially cylindrical body portion, indicated generally at 12, that comprises a plurality of panels 14 that are arranged seriatim about substantially the entirety of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12. The expression “substantially cylindrical” as applied to the cylindrical body portion 12 is intended to be inclusive of a body portion having a configuration that is generated by a straight line moving parallel to a fixed straight line and intersecting a plane curve as well as a body portion that has a configuration that sufficiently approximates a body portion that is generated by a straight line moving parallel to a fixed straight line and intersecting a plane curve that one skilled in the art would understand the body portion to be substantially cylindrical in its general appearance. Similarly, the expression “substantially the entirety of” as applied to the phrase “the substantially cylindrical body portion” is intended to be inclusive of the entirety of the substantially cylindrical body portion as well as a sufficient extent of the substantially cylindrical body portion that one skilled in the art would consider the panels to be arranged around substantially the entirety of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

The plurality of panels 14 defines an interior 16 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12. Each panel 14 includes two panel side edges 18-18, which can be parallel to one another, a panel upper edge 20 and a panel lower edge 22. Each panel side edge 18 of each panel 14 is joined at a joint 19 to a corresponding panel side edge 18 of a panel that is located immediately adjacent to that panel. Thereby, the panel upper edges 20 of the panels 14 collectively form a body portion upper edge, indicated generally at 24, of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 and the panel lower edges 22 of the panels 14 collectively form a body portion lower edge, indicated generally at 26, of the substantially cylindrical body portion. As shown in FIG. 1, the panel upper edge 20 and the panel lower edge 22 of each panel 14 of the plurality of panels are displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical body portion 12. A first continuous closure member 28 can be joined to the body portion lower edge 26 to close off the interior 16 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 at the body portion lower edge 26.

The container 10 can be constructed of any one of various materials. For example, the containers can be formed from plastic materials such as thermosetting plastics and metals such as aluminum and steel.

In a second aspect of the container 10 of the present invention shown in FIG. 2, the container includes a substantially cylindrical body portion 12 constructed of a plurality of panels 14 that are arranged seriatim about substantially the entirety of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12. The plurality of panels 14 in the aspect of FIG. 2 defines an interior 16 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 and each panel 14 includes two substantially parallel panel side edges 18-18 a panel upper edge 20 and a panel lower edge 22. In the aspect of FIG. 2, each panel side edge 18 of each panel 14 is joined to a corresponding panel side edge 18 of a panel that is located immediately adjacent to that panel at a joint 19 so that the panel upper edges 20 of the panels 14 collectively form a body portion upper edge 24 and the panel lower edges 22 collectively form a body portion lower edge 26. In the aspect of FIG. 2, the panel upper edge 20 and the panel lower edge 22 of each panel 14 are displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 and the first continuous closure member 28 can be joined to the body portion lower edge 26 to close off the interior 16 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 at the body portion lower edge 26. In the aspect of FIG. 2, a recessed portion, shown generally at 15, of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 encircles the substantially cylindrical body portion. The recessed portion 15 is concave in a direction toward the interior 16 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12. In one embodiment of the aspect of FIG. 2, a most inward point of the recessed portion 15 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge 24 and the body portion lower edge 26.

With respect to embodiments of the aspects of both FIGS. 1 and 2, an exposed surface of at least one portion of at least one panel 14 can be substantially planar. And in additional embodiments of both aspects of FIGS. 1 and 2, an exposed surface of at least one portion of each panel of the plurality of panels 14 can be substantially planar. In particular examples of all those embodiments, the exposed surface of the at least one portion of the at least one panel 14 that is substantially planar and the at least one portion of each of the plurality of panels 14 that is substantially planar can be located adjacent at least one of the body portion upper edge 24 and the body portion lower edge 26. In additional examples of those embodiments, the exposed surface of the portion of the panels that is substantially planar can be located both adjacent the body portion upper edge 24 and adjacent the body portion lower edge 26.

The expression “substantially planar” as applied to the “exposed surface” of a panel is intended to be inclusive of both exposed surfaces of portions of the container 10 that contain all the straight lines connecting any two points on an exposed surface as well as an exposed surface that sufficiently approximates a surface that contains all the straight lines connecting any two points on the surface that one skilled in the art would consider the exposed surface to be substantially planar.

The exposed surfaces of portions of the panels can be planar in and of themselves or enhancements or appendages can be included at portions of the panels so as to provide the planar surfaces. In FIG's. 1 and 2, for example, enhancements in the form of medallions, indicated generally at 30, are embossed into each of the panels 14 adjacent the body portion upper edge 24. Each of the medallions 30 includes an exposed substantially planar surface 32. The exposed substantially planar surfaces provided at the panels 14, whether they be provided by the exposed outer surfaces of the panels 14 themselves or by means of enhancements or appendages, such as the medallions 30, whether they be provided at all the panels 14 or at selected panels 14 and whether they be located adjacent the body portion upper edge 24, such as the medallions 30, adjacent the body portion lower edge 26, adjacent both the body portion upper edge 24 and the body portion lower edge 26, or at other locations at the panels 14 can serve a useful purpose. For example, auxiliary components such as plugs, valves or taps, having a complementary attaching planar surface can be welded to an exposed planar surface at a panel 14 without the risk of burning through the panel as can be the case when an auxiliary component with an attaching planar surface is welded to a panel with a curved surface as is familiar to those skilled in the art. It is to be noted that even the recessed portion 15 of a panel 14 can be provided with an exposed planar surface by the addition to the panel at the recessed portion 15 of an enhancement or appendage that includes an attaching surface that is complementary with the recess portion 15 and has an exposed planar surface.

A method of making one or more of the aspects described above, and embodiments and examples thereof, can comprise joining the plurality of the panels 14 to one another to form a substantially cylindrical forerunner of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 of the container 10 as illustrated in FIG. 3. The substantially cylindrical forerunner includes a central axis 34, with the panel upper edges 20 of the plurality of panels 14 collectively forming a forerunner upper edge 36 at the substantially cylindrical forerunner 33 and the panel lower edges 22 of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner lower edge 38 at the substantially cylindrical forerunner. Thereby, as shown in FIG. 3, the plurality of panels 14 of the substantially cylindrical forerunner are arranged so that the panel upper edge 20 and the panel lower edge 22 of each panel 14 are not displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner but are in line with one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner. That is, a line connecting the midpoint of a panel upper edge 20 and the panel lower edge 22 of a respective panel would intersect both the forerunner upper edge 36 and the forerunner lower edge 38 at a right angle.

Following the formation of the substantially cylindrical forerunner, the forerunner upper edge 36 is rotated about the central axis 34 of the substantially cylindrical forerunner while maintaining the forerunner lower edge 38 substantially stationary. Thereby, the panel upper edge 20 of each of the plurality of panels is displaced circumferentially from the respective panel lower edge 22 of the panels about the substantially cylindrical forerunner to form the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 of the container 10. The first continuous closure member 28 can be joined to the forerunner lower edge 38 prior to the forerunner upper edge 36 being rotated about the central axis 34 or to the body portion lower edge 26 of the substantially cylindrical body portion 12 after the forerunner upper edge 36 is rotated about the central axis 34.

The rotation of the forerunner upper edge 36 of the substantially cylindrical forerunner while maintaining the forerunner lower edge 38 substantially stationary in the manner described can impart to the substantially cylindrical body portion 12, as it is formed from the forerunner, the concavity at the recess portion 15 encircling the substantially cylindrical body portion as shown in FIG. 2. The greater that the forerunner upper edge 36 of the substantially cylindrical forerunner 33 is rotated with respect to the forerunner lower edge 38, and, thereby, the greater degree to which the panel upper edges 20 are displaced circumferentially from the panel lower edges 22, the deeper toward the interior of the container 10 will the concavity at the recess portion 15 extend.

A lid, indicated generally at 40, can be provided for the top of the container 10 at the body portion upper edge 24. The lid 40 can be generally circular to match the configuration of the body portion upper edge 24 and include an attaching edge 41 by means of which the lid 40 is attached to the body portion upper edge 24 of the cylindrical body portion 12. The portion 46 of the lid 40 that lies inwardly of the attaching edge 41 of the lid 40 can be recessed below the attaching edge 41. Standoffs 42 that are raised above the portion 46 of the lid 40 can be provided at the portion 46 of the lid 40 at which, for example, equipment employed with the container 10 can be installed and secured. In addition, an accessing attachment 44, provided with an opening, can be installed at the portion 46 of the lid 40. Lines for injecting and/or withdrawing liquids to and from the interior 16 of the container 10 can be secured to the accessing attachment 44.

While the present invention has been described above and illustrated with reference to certain embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that the invention is not so limited. Thus, as noted above, the various aspects of the present invention can have applications to containers of various sizes and those applications are not limited to barrels. In addition, modifications and alterations of the aspects of the invention described herein will occur to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the specification, including the drawings. The present invention is intended to cover and include any and all such modifications and variations to the described embodiments that are encompassed by the following claims.

Claims

1. A container including a substantially cylindrical body portion comprising a plurality of panels arranged seriatim about substantially the entirety of the substantially cylindrical body portion and defining an interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion, each panel including two panel side edges, a panel upper edge and a panel lower edge, each panel side edge of each panel joined to a corresponding panel side edge of a panel located immediately adjacent that panel, whereby the panel upper edges collectively form a body portion upper edge of the substantially cylindrical body portion and the panel lower edges collectively form a body portion lower edge of the substantially cylindrical body portion, the panel upper edge and the panel lower edge of each panel of the plurality of panels being displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical body portion.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

3. The container of claim 2 wherein a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

4. The container of claim 1 wherein an exposed surface of at least one portion of at least one panel is substantially planar.

5. The container of claim 4 wherein a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

6. The container of claim 5 wherein a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

7. The container of claim 4 wherein the exposed surface of the at least one portion of the at least one panel is located adjacent at least one of the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

8. The container of claim 7 wherein a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

9. The container of claim 8 wherein a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

10. The container of claim 1 wherein an exposed surface of at least one portion of each panel of the plurality of panels is substantially planar.

11. The container of claim 10 wherein a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

12. The container of claim 11 wherein a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

13. The container of claim 10 wherein the exposed surface of the at least one portion of each panel of the plurality of panels is located adjacent at least one of the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

14. The container of claim 13 wherein a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

15. The container of claim 14 wherein a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

16. The container of claim 13 wherein the exposed surface of the at least one portion of each of the plurality of panels is located both adjacent the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

17. The container of claim 16 wherein a recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion encircling the cylindrical body portion is concave in a direction toward the interior of the substantially cylindrical body portion.

18. The container of claim 17 wherein a most inward point of the recessed portion of the substantially cylindrical body portion is located approximately at the midpoint between the body portion upper edge and the body portion lower edge.

19. A method of making the container of claim 3 including:

joining the plurality of panels to one another to form a substantially cylindrical forerunner of the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container, wherein the substantially cylindrical forerunner includes a central axis, with the panel upper edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner upper edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner and the panel lower edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner lower edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner, and wherein the plurality of panels of the substantially cylindrical forerunner are arranged so that the panel upper edge and the panel lower edge of each panel are not displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner but are in line with one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner; and
rotating the forerunner upper edge about the central axis of the substantially cylindrical forerunner while maintaining the forerunner lower edge substantially stationary, whereby the panel upper edge of each of the plurality of panels is displaced circumferentially from the respective panel lower edge of the panels about the substantially cylindrical forerunner to form the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container.

20. A method of making the container of claim 12 including:

joining the plurality of panels to one another to form a substantially cylindrical forerunner of the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container, wherein the substantially cylindrical forerunner includes a central axis, with the panel upper edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner upper edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner and the panel lower edges of the plurality of panels collectively forming a forerunner lower edge at the substantially cylindrical forerunner, and wherein the plurality of panels of the substantially cylindrical forerunner are arranged so that the panel upper edge and the panel lower edge of each panel are not displaced circumferentially from one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner but are in line with one another about the substantially cylindrical forerunner; and
rotating the forerunner upper edge about the central axis of the substantially cylindrical forerunner while maintaining the forerunner lower edge substantially stationary, whereby the panel upper edge of each of the plurality of panels is displaced circumferentially from the respective panel lower edge of the panels about the substantially cylindrical forerunner to form the substantially cylindrical body portion of the container.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140312032
Type: Application
Filed: Apr 22, 2013
Publication Date: Oct 23, 2014
Inventor: Steven Davidian (Chagrin Falls, OH)
Application Number: 13/867,277

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Barrel-shaped Container (220/4.04); Assembling Or Joining (29/428)
International Classification: B65D 3/28 (20060101);